More Pro Ses Appearing In Appellate Court

, The Connecticut Law Tribune

   | 6 Comments

Nonlawyers used to represent themselves in only the simplest cases. Even that caused challenges for the court system, as trial judges had to slow down and explain procedural matters to these novice litigators.

What's being said

  • Elizabeth A. Richter

    What I think is truly amusing is the need that attorneys and their friends seem to have to be self congratulatory and self lauding. Just because they like to describe themselves as passionate and educated advocates doesn‘t make them so. Also, just because an attorney or a friend of an attorney makes a statement, this does not make it a fact. What I have a problem with, not even going into the issue of corruption which alone is deplorable, is the lack of humility, the inability to even conceive of the possibility that the CT Judicial Branch might actually learn something from its critics, that there might even be the vaguest possibility that there are fundamental systemic problems which need to be addressed. When I was a teacher, I always reviewed my student evaluations very carefully to see if there were improvements I could make in my teaching techniques. I had the Chairman of my Department observe my classes and then we would go over my performance later on. I didn‘t respond with contempt towards those students and mentors who chose to assist my growth as a teacher. Most professions require this kind of scrutiny as part of the process of continual and ongoing improvement of performance over the years. Why should judges, attorneys, and the CT Judicial Branch as a whole consider themselves so far superior to anyone else that they should not be required to participate in such self-scrutiny? The bottom line is that the Superior Court and the Appellate Court hid documents in my case. I have the evidence of that sitting in my office. Anyone who doubts the truth of this I personally invite to come visit me and take a look for yourself.

  • Scott Rothenberg

    As a past chair of the State Bar of Texas Appellate Section, I am proud to say that we have stepped up and established effective pro bono representation programs in the Supreme Court of Texas and many of the intermediate appellate courts in civil cases.

    http://www.tex-app.org/DrawOnePage.aspx?PageID=81

  • Just saying

    Actually, Ms. Verranault, what the Chief Justice said was that lawyers should consider adjuating their business models--NOT that self reps "choose" to represent themselves. On fact, she unequivocally stated that ALL people are better represented, better served when they have an attorney advocating for them in court. Period.
    http://jud.ct.gov/external/news/Speech/JusticeRogersRemarks.pdf

  • err

    Neither the Judicial Branch nor the Appellate Court is "complaining" about anything, Mrs.Richter. It is simply being noted that appellate law--and the law in general--is complicated, and self reps will be better served by an attorney. They are seeking more volunteers, not trying to diminish self reps‘ standing. Lawyers are professionals, educated, passionate advocates whose arguments are based on their interpretation and understanding of case law, precedent, statutes, and court rules. I know it‘s probably hard to believe, but just because you use the correct citation form and your earnest belief in what you‘re arguing doesn‘t make you right. Facts are facts; even when they don‘t jibe with your reality doesn‘t make them incorrect. Your constant claims of corruption, collusion, discrimination are tiresome.

  • Jennifer V

    In response to Chief Justice Rogers‘ comment regarding self represented parties; economics is a factor, however a lot of family court litigants lack the confidence in family attorneys and/or they feel they are able to represent themselves better than anyone else can. In fact, Chief Justice Rogers echoed these reasons during her June 2012 Annual Judges Meeting. It‘s not just about money but lack of confidence in family attorneys.

  • Elizabeth A. Richter

    I don‘t know what the CT Judicial Branch is complaining about. I filed my own appellate case as a self represented party and I know other self represented parties who have done the same thing. I went out of my way to learn proper court procedures and regulations and put hours and hours of my time in preparing documents. What found was that regardless of how hard I worked to make sure that my paperwork and compliance with court proceedings was proper, the Appellate Court failed to take my appeal seriously. The Appellate Court rules completely outside of the law in regard to my case, and also conspired to hide several documents from the record, and then ruled as if those documents didn‘t exist even though they knew very well that they did since I filed motions to remind the Appellate Court judges that they did. When the Appellate Court judges are so ready to flagrantly violate the law and subvert their own court procedures, they are acting entirely improperly and have no business heaping blame on self represented parties and acting as if we are the problem. The problem is that self represented parties actually know the law and ask the Appellate Court to act in accordance to the law and that is the really reason why the Appellate Court is annoyed. Further, the Appellate Court routinely denies self represented parties access to pre-argument conferences which are always offered to attorneys, continuing on with their policy of simply discriminating against self-represented parties, which I believe the do because self-represented parties operate outside of their business model.

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